22 April 2020
“The report’s recommendations, which the SWB fully concur with, offer a clear way forward to ensuring that when seafarers arrive in New Zealand ports, they will continue to receive the standard of care and welcome they so richly deserve.”
London, UK. Following the 16 April publication of the commissioned Human Rights at Sea report New Zealand: Under-Funding of Seafarers’ Welfare Services and Poor MLC Compliance and Counsel’s Opinion into the sustainability of seafarer welfare centres in New Zealand, the Seafarers Welfare Board for New Zealand has issued a follow-up press release.
“From: The Seafarers Welfare Board for New Zealand
To: Parties concerned for the welfare of seafarers in New Zealand ports
The Seafarers Welfare Board for New Zealand (SWB) wishes to commend for reading, reflection and discussion, the recently published report from Human Rights at Sea (HRAS) titled, New Zealand: Under-Funding of Seafarers’ Welfare Services and Poor MLC Compliance.
The SWB is the body responsible for coordinating the promotion of seafarer welfare around New Zealand. It has been recognised as New Zealand’s national welfare board in accordance with the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC).
The SWB has been an advocate, for a number of years, for a national levy on shipping to help fund the shore-based seafarers’ welfare facilities in New Zealand ports, recognising that the charitable entities that run these facilities are stretched to find funding solely from charitable sources.
Two questions that have arisen as a result of New Zealand’s ratification of the MLC are:
• What is the obligation of the state for the provision of shore-based welfare facilities for seafarers, as outlined in regulation 4.4 of the MLC?
• Do charitable organisations have to shoulder the burden of funding these facilities alone?
The chairperson of the SWB, the Revd John McLister, in October 2019, asked HRAS to explore these questions. In April 2020, HRAS published its report in response to this request.
The answers provided require careful consideration. The report’s recommendations, which the SWB fully concur with, offer a clear way forward to ensuring that when seafarers arrive in New Zealand ports, they will continue to receive the standard of care and welcome they so richly deserve.
For any thoughts, concerns, comments or questions regarding the report, please feel free to direct these to the Revd John McLister, chairperson of the Seafarers Welfare Board for New Zealand:
firstname.lastname@example.org (+64) 27-8900-308″
Download the independent report and case study detailing the concerns of ecumenical welfare staff in New Zealand in relation to the restrictive provision of essential port welfare services to seafarers without sustainable financial support, or legislation assuring investment in seafarer’s centres as provided for under the Maritime Labour Convention.
Download Counsel’s independent opinion on the Human Rights at Sea report. Counsel James. M. Turner QC, and Stephanie Barrett of Quadrant Chambers, London, UK provide a legal review based around posed questions.